Agent: Jets coach Noel a reason Burmistrov left for KHL

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Alexander Burmistrov played in 194 NHL games with the Atlanta Thrashers and Winnipeg Jets after being taken with the eighth overall pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. However, once his entry-level contract expired, Burmistrov made the decision to sign with Ak Bars Kazan of the KHL.

Losing a promising 21-year-old forward is obviously a tough blow for the Jets, but perhaps it’s not a surprising one. He was reportedly unhappy in Winnipeg and wanted to be traded due in part to his clashes with head coach Claude Noel.

Any doubt on the subject was put to rest when Burmistrov’s agent Yuri Nikolaev was asked if his relationship with Noel was a motivating factor in his clients decision to leave the Jets.

“That was one of the reasons why he left,” Nikolaev confirmed through translator Ruslan Kim, according to the Winnipeg Sun.

To be clear, that wasn’t the only factor. Burmistrov will get a chance to play for his hometown team and his salary “is more than $2 million USD.”

He’s also open to returning to the NHL eventually, but the Jets can control his North American rights until he’s 27 if they want.

It certainly sounds like they’ll go that route, given that they said in a statement that Burmistrov “remains a very talented player within the Jets organization and we will continue to monitor his progress and development going forward.”

Construction worker dies after fall at Detroit arena

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DETROIT (AP) A worker has died after falling 75 feet at the Little Caesars Arena worksite north of downtown Detroit.

Deputy Detroit Fire Commissioner David Fornell says the 46-year-old man was in cardiac arrest when paramedics arrived about 8 a.m. Wednesday.

Other workers had started cardiopulmonary resuscitation which first responders continued. The man was taken to a Detroit hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Fornell says officials were told the man was an electrical worker and may have fallen from a catwalk. He says the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration likely will investigate.

The arena will be home to the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings and the NBA’s Pistons. It is scheduled to open this fall.

More on the story from the Detroit Free Press

Habs extend De La Rose — one year, $725,000

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Montreal secured some forward depth on Wednesday, agreeing to terms with Jacob De La Rose.

De La Rose, 22, was taken 34th overall at the 2013 draft and has appeared in 64 games for Montreal over the last three seasons. He had a nice debut for the club in ’14-15 — appearing in 33 regular-season contests, and 12 playoff games — but has since spent the majority of his time in AHL St. John’s.

That might not be the case moving forward, however.

De La Rose’s deal is worth $725,000 (per TSN) and, importantly, is of the one-way variety. There could be more opportunities at forward next season. Montreal has already said it’ll pass on bringing back UFAs Brian Flynn and Dwight King, and it’s unclear if the club will get a deal done with Alexander Radulov.

It’s also unclear what GM Marc Bergevin plans to do with Alex Galchenyuk, who’s been the subject of numerous trade rumors.

Even after bad season in Buffalo, Kulikov generating strong interest as UFA

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Dmitry Kulikov had a bad season in Buffalo. There’s no debating that.

Not only did the defenseman struggle statistically, finishing minus-26 with just two goals and three assists, he also had trouble staying healthy, appearing in just 47 games for the Sabres.

But despite all that, Kulikov seems to be generating plenty of interest as an unrestricted free agent. Presumably, the hope among his many suitors is that he can bounce back, so long as he’s put in a better situation.

Kulikov is still just 26. And before he was traded to Buffalo a year ago, he’d had a number of respectable seasons with the Florida Panthers.

It’s why the Sabres were so happy to get him.

“He’s a good player,” then-GM Tim Murray said last June, per NHL.com. “I like guys that are honest, I like guys that are hard to play against, I certainly like guys that can make a tape-to-tape pass, and with our forwards, I think if he can make a tape-to-tape pass, good things are going to happen in transition with the skill and speed we already have here, so he’s just a great fit.”

Of course, it wasn’t a great fit, and Murray is no longer the GM.

As for Kulikov, there’s “about a dozen” interested teams, according to his agent. Ottawa and Winnipeg are believed to be among them.

Berglund undergoes second major shoulder surgery, out ’til December

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In an unpleasant bit of deja vu, Blues forward Patrik Berglund suffered another significant shoulder injury, underwent another major medical procedure, and will again miss a bunch of action.

From the Blues:

Blues center Patrik Berglund has undergone successful surgery to repair a dislocated left shoulder. Berglund suffered the injury while performing his offseason conditioning program in Sweden.

He is expected to be sidelined until December.

If this sounds familiar, well, that’s because it is.

In the summer of ’15, Berglund injured the same shoulder while doing the same thing — offseason training. It was revealed that injury was an extension of the one he suffered during the ’13-14 campaign, but ultimately played through.

After undergoing surgery in ’15, the 29-year-old didn’t make his debut until January of 2016, missing 40 games as a result.

This latest injury is a pretty unfortunate blow for all parties involved. Berglund is coming off a productive year, appearing in all 82 games for the Blues while scoring a career-high 23 goals. That production played a big role in Blues GM Doug Armstrong giving Berglund a five-year, $19.25 million extension in February.